Tag Archives: snow

‘Look at these things that are where they are’: January pocket pages

Snow drift as a moon rise. 20 Jan.

§

Everything lasts just a moment — specifically, here, I mean the laughs after a joke, the cry after a drama scene, the blown-mind after hearing a new idea. These all last only briefly. After that moment, I might remember that an artwork is good without feeling that first-moment reaction. 6 Jan. 2019.

§

“I’m bad at walking, buddy,” I told my dog, Sam, when I slipped on the hardwood floor near our blue couch and he, on the couch, looked up as startled. 6 Jan.

§

Lights around a city-owned treetrunk. 2 Jan.

§

If “I don’t care” means almost the same as “I don’t mind,” then “care” would be a synonym for “mind” — caring is akin to paying attention? (In the movie “Lady Bird,” a character says that paying attention is the same as loving something.) 7 Jan.

§

As of this January 2019, I have outlived Thoreau,who died at age 44. Fitzgerald was 44, also. I learned this weekend that I’ve also outlived Kierkegaard, who died at 42. George Gershwin didn’t make it to 40. Of course these people are each more accomplished than I am, but, in a petty way, I feel good about having outlived them. I have a chance to keep thinking, keep learning, and perhaps to become more wise, more thoughtful than any of these dudes were. I also realized recently that Heidegger was only about 38 when he published Being and Time. I was intimidated by that work when I was an undergrad, but now that I’m older than he was when he wrote it, I feel I might have enough wisdom to understand it — or to dismiss it as not all that important!  9 Jan and late Jan.

§

Sharply drifted snow. 20 Jan. 2019

§

We don’t get to make many choices about our families. We don’t get to choose our parents or any other ancestors. We get to choose our romantic partner, and we choose to have kids (but we don’t get to choose the kids’ personalities or other qualities). And the choices we do make, we often make at a fairly young age, and then live with the consequences the rest of our lives. 9 Jan.

§

An aspect of being in a location near-but-not-within a town — for example, being a couple miles outside of a small prairie town — is that distance, seeing that distance one is away from the landmark, is part of the experience of being at that location. When you’re in the town already, or when you’re in a forest, or other vision-limited place, you don’t experience distance. Also, when I’m looking at a town from a distance, it might as well be a landscape painting — it’s not real from a distance. Work happens up close. 10 Jan. & 16 Jan.

§

The process of memorizing a poem — all these quasi-thoughts, demi-thoughts. On my my way home from work today, I memorized Shakespeare’s “When in the chronicle” sonnet, and in the act of memorizing, I noticed many things: there are maybe many views, concepts, of the poem helping me get it into my head, such as a four-line structure (from “when…” to “then…”); how “praise” is in there three times; the dismissive tone of “wasted time, … ladies dead and lovely knights; the contrast of “our time … you prefiguring.” Basically, memorizing is a way to get a close reading of a text, but also, it seems my memorized version might subtly include some of these structural pattern realizations/insights listed above. 11 Jan.

§

As a real middle-ager, nearing age 45, maybe I should challenge myself to do things beyond my routine — read philosophy, memorize poems. My routine may not be satisfying enough. 11 Jan.

§

Snow drift topography. 20 Jan.

§

“God, use common sense,” said a high school student to another outside after school. She said “God” more as an interjection, but I thought of it, amusingly, as direct address. 14 Jan.

§

I’m tired of meaning things, asserting things through public writings. Don’t preach — let cool ideas seep through your blog posts of journal texts, off-handedly. I don’t have anything that I need to say to a general audience. Also, I don’t have to have a certain tone — just be interesting, no? Switching topics is OK! I do look forward to the regularly published columns of a few particular writers, who tend to be interesting on varied topics. 15 Jan., 17 Jan.

§

Ice melting off my car’s windshield. 22 Jan.

§

Because I have lived in small Midwestern towns where there are few myths/characterizing stories about the places (as opposed to, say, the idea about NYC that it’s exciting, or that San Francisco is artistic — simplistic stories, yes), I wasn’t distracted by these stories — I paid attention to what was here. 15 Jan.

§

My career as an example of not setting goals, not being ambitious (which word has a negative history). I don’t need to portray myself as a hero or as a model. I live for me — to see how my life turns out! 16 Jan.

§

I think that people who might like reading blog posts of my journal texts would be readers who might appreciate not knowing what I might say. Publishing my journals is a self-centered act, but it’s also being honest, open, maybe vulnerable — not seeking that authority that journalists and most nonfiction writers seek by trying to seem normal and reasonable in their narrative voices.  16-17 Jan.

§

View of sun on a snowy day in downtown Rockford, Illinois. Church Street at Mulberry. 25 Jan.

§

My lyrics to “Feels So Good”: “Feels So Good — IT feels GOOD, IT feels GOOD, you know it FEELS, FEELS, FEELS, so GOOD…” 17 Jan.

§

I feel that I finally have the confidence to (publicly) be my own kind of writer, and I feel I could be satisfied being my own kind of writer. It makes sense that I wouldn’t be sure of the public value of any of my atypical, idiosyncratic writings. But I am choosing to be idiosyncratic in my publishing of my journal texts, and I’m not trying to fit into mainstream publishing. 17 Jan.

§

Ronald Reagan’s 6th grade classroom, Northwest Territory Historic Center, Dixon, Illinois. 25 Jan.

§

Hallway poetry, overheard before 5th hour: “My locker,/when I open it,/is gonna smell like crap,” said a sophomore (I think) girl to another girl. 17 Jan.

§

What portion of all my thoughts are written down? Most of the new insights, yes, but not the daily, getting-around thoughts. 18 Jan.

§

A celebrity — having celebrity-level fame — is a business opportunity for the celebrity person as well as for others. Media fame is about and for making money, not artistic quality. More to my point, if I’m not trying to sell (my writings, say), I don’t need to be a celebrity (nor try to become one). 18, 22 Jan.

§

(During my morning commute, after crossing railroad tracks) Look at these things that are where they are — road signs, tree limbs, crossing-gate posts. They’re not imagined, remembered, or dreamed.  18 Jan.

§

Detail of 2nd floor of a building in downtown Rockford, Illinois, on Main Street, I think. 25 Jan.

A Sunny, Snowy Commute

After a day of snow and cold, the sun came out today and created some cool scenes and shapes along my Ogle County commute this afternoon:

Railroad crossing on Bethel Road.

Just west of railroad crossing.

A tin shed at southwest corner of Route 64 and Church roads. When I first noticed the fellow in the barn window, I thought it was a cat.

But then I was pretty sure it was a fox.

Snow dunes.

View from just south of Route 64 and Church Road intersection. View is toward the northwest, and the nuclear power plant’s steam cloud is just above the horizon on the right side. Also, Illinois is a flat sea of dirt clods.

A clod mountain shadow.

Two buck deer on south side of Holcomb Road, east of Meridian Road.

Bridge over the frozen Stillman Creek, facing north from Holcomb Road.

View of Rock River west from the bridge at Byron.

Recent frozen-water forms

Snow, 21 Nov. 2015

Red on white. 21 Nov. 2015

Frosty dandelion seedhead, 8 Nov.

Frosty dandelion seedhead, 8 Nov.

ice from a bowl, 28 Nov. 2015

Underneath the flat surface of dog bowl’s ice, these shapes. 28 Nov. 2015

Frozen water on window, 21 Nov. 2015

Frozen water on window, 21 Nov. 2015

Frosty leaf, 8 Nov. 2015

Frosty leaf, 8 Nov. 2015

ice from a bowl, 28 Nov. 2015

Foreground: Water-side surface of ice formed in dog bowl. Background: Ice formed around the edge. 28 Nov. 2015

Frosty dandelion leaf, 8 Nov. 2015

Frosty dandelion leaf, 8 Nov. 2015

Snow, 21 Nov. 2015

Subtle shadings of snow. 21 Nov. 2015

ice from a bowl, 28 Nov. 2015

The facing edge is the edge of the approximately half-inch thick top layer of ice from a dog bowl. 28 Nov. 2015

Frosty dandelion bloom, closed. 8 Nov.

Frosty dandelion bloom, closed. 8 Nov.

Snow, 21 Nov. 2015

An icy edge of a small drift, 21 Nov. 2015

ice from a bowl, 28 Nov. 2015

At bottom of pic, the water-side of bowl-topping ice. Top, edge of ice around the edge of the dog’s bowl. 28 Nov. 2015

Snow, 21 Nov. 2015

A drift’s ridge, 21 Nov. 2015

Frosty, curly carrot leaves. 8 Nov.

Frosty, curly carrot leaves. 8 Nov.

Blizzard-sculpted shapes

All photos taken around 8:30 this morning after a blizzard yesterday.

2015_02_02_mh (80)

2015_02_02_mh (87)

2015_02_02_mh (94)

2015_02_02_mh (105)

2015_02_02_mh (107)

2015_02_02_mh (112)

2015_02_02_mh (130)

2015_02_02_mh (136)

2015_02_02_mh (162)

2015_02_02_mh (174)

2015_02_02_mh (179)

My dog, acting cold

Here are two pictures of my dog begging to come inside during our blizzard of two days ago.

2015_02_01_mh (2)

His expression is sincere enough, but this is pretty good acting for a dog was was outside for, at most, a couple minutes.

2015_02_01_mh (1)